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Monday, August 30, 2010

Rookie Iupati is the hole package

Throw all the small-school talk out the door. Niners left guard Mike Iupati is as NFL-ready as any rookie offensive lineman in the league.
Just ask Raiders coach Tom Cable, who went out of his way to congratulate Iupati after the 49ers' 28-24 victory over the Raiders in Saturday night's exhibition game at the Coliseum.
"He's going to be a good one," said Cable, a former Idaho offensive lineman, just like Iupati.
Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore agrees, citing the monstrous hole Iupati forged on his 49-yard carry up the middle on his first touch of the preseason.
Iupati chip blocked a defensive tackle, charged upfield and wiped a linebacker out of the way as Gore sprinted up and away.
It's the sort of hit-and-run combination of strength at the line of scrimmage and speed downfield that's allowing Iupati, all 331 pounds of him, to make the instant transition into the NFL.
So much for the notion No. 17 overall is too high a spot to draft a guard.
"It's getting a lot better," Iupati said. "From when I first got out here, I didn't even look like a football player."
So, what advice did Cable give Iupati after their postgame man-hug?
"He said to work hard. It's going to be a long season, so take care of your body," Iupati said. "I really like the guy."
In and out: Running back Brian Westbrook was limited to two carries for 17 yards in his 49ers debut before sitting out with a hamstring cramp.
Westbrook gained all 17 yards on a draw.
Three cut: The 49ers released three undrafted rookies to meet Tuesday's 75-man roster deadline.
Gone are wide receiver Bakari Grant, outside linebacker Brandon Long and cornerback Patrick Stoudamire.
The final 53-man roster is due Saturday.
Vote of confidence: Head coach Mike Singletary named David Carr the No. 2 quarterback, not that this was exactly breaking news.
Carr has run the second-team offense ever since he signed as a free agent in March. The only exception was the exhibition game against Minnesota on Aug. 22, when Nate Davis played the entire second half - then got ripped by Singletary for not being ready to compete for the backup job.
Carr led the game-winning drive Saturday, launching in the air past the first-down marker and into a high hit. He has a name for the play.
"It's called stupid," Carr said with a smile.

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